NASA grant to tap lunar resources

Jul 28, 2004

Computer models may lead to propellant production from lunar mantle

Florida Tech associate professor of chemical engineering, Dr. Jonathan Whitlow, received a grant of nearly $50,000 from NASA to develop computer models that can lead to producing propellants from the lunar regolith, or rock mantle. He will collaborate with NASA Kennedy Space Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and the Colorado School of Mines.

"Developing these lunar elements into propellants in-situ can improve the economics of exploring the moon and other planetary bodies," said Whitlow.

Oxygen is abundant on the moon in the form of metal oxides in the lunar soil. In addition, small amounts of other resources exist, such as hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon, which have been deposited by the solar wind.

"The in-situ processing of the lunar soil to produce propellants is a challenge of chemical engineering," said Whitlow. He will be developing predictive models for various processing steps involved in the resource recovery on the moon. Florida Tech offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.

Source: Florida Institute of Technology

Explore further: Yellowstone's thermal springs—their colors unveiled

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Washington takes on Uber with its own taxi app

4 hours ago

Washington is developing a smartphone app to enable its taxis to compete head-on with Uber and other ride-sharing services, the US capital's taxi commission said Friday.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in living color

4 hours ago

Rosetta's OSIRIS team have produced a color image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it would be seen by the human eye. As anticipated, the comet turns out to be very grey indeed, with only slight, subtle ...

EU clean air, waste laws at risk

4 hours ago

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker faces a clash with lawmakers after leaked documents Friday revealed his plans to drop laws on clean air and waste recycling.

Recommended for you

Yellowstone's thermal springs—their colors unveiled

8 hours ago

Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.